On October 17, Random Acts joined the United Nations in honoring International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2021. This year’s theme was “Building Forward Together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet.”
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty honors a tradition started by a demonstration of over 100,000 people on October 17, 1987. The goal is to raise awareness of ending poverty and motivate people to make a difference. However, it was not until 1992 that the United Nations officially designated October 17 as an international day of observance.
Moving the Needle
There is not a one-fits-all definition of poverty. Generally, poverty can affect anyone, because it is a multidimensional issue characterized by a lack of stable income. Poverty is significantly more likely to affect already oppressed or marginalized peoples, or individuals living in conflict-riddled regions.
Often, the effects of poverty include unsafe work or housing conditions, malnutrition, limited healthcare, inaccessible justice systems, and more. In other words, we can easily describe what poverty is like, but not so easily what it is, which can make the core of poverty hard to address.
Given these points, it is not surprising that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely reversed decades of global efforts to decrease poverty. In fact, the World Bank estimates that between 88 to 115 million people are being pushed into poverty due to the impacts of the virus. What’s more, this number is expected to rise to between 143 and 163 million people in 2021. They will join the 1.3 billion people already experiencing poverty.
In the United States, there is this phrase: moving the needle forward. It often means that even small changes can have a measurable impact, such as decreasing poverty rates. With that in mind, there are acts of kindness — big and small — that can help end poverty overall.
Be a Part of #EndPoverty
In order to help end poverty, it is important to recognize that poverty is a cycle. It can be difficult — if not impossible — to break the cycle alone. As a result, it is invaluable when individuals or organizations make an effort to combat poverty.
One option to make a difference is to take time to educate yourself about poverty with the United Nations or with the World Bank. For example, false perceptions of poverty as being caused by the affected individual or by “laziness” can inhibit efforts to end poverty. Actually, poverty can result from severe lack of accessible healthcare, weather catastrophes, restricted access to educational resources, or other factors. Most importantly, these factors are outside the control of the affected individuals.
Additionally, Random Acts is dedicated to supporting people affected by poverty as well as organizations dedicated to combating poverty. If you want to get involved, please consider donating to our general kindness fund to support acts like those below. You can also get involved by supporting our Food Equity Program helping to end food insecurity locally.
- Feeding Families With Our Table Lawrence
- Relief for a Village Affected by Cyclone Amphan
- Supporting Students in Ghana
Finally, supporters of the global campaign to end poverty can get involved on social media. Together, sharing our ideas and experiences can change the way people think and feel about poverty. Undoubtedly, changing inaccurate or harmful perceptions can make it easier to break the cycle. A few of the United Nations’ other hashtags are #BreakTheCycle, #BuildingForwardTogether, and #IDEP2021.
We cannot wait to hear about what you did to celebrate International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. You can keep the conversation about ending poverty in your area going by reaching out to your Regional Representative.